Client City of Toronto
Client type Municipality
Location City of Toronto, Ontario
Population (2021) 2.8 million
Schedule April 2020 – March 2022
Tools used CityInSight
In October 2019, the City of Toronto pledged to achieve net-zero community emissions by 2050 and hired SSG to develop the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy.
The City wanted to build upon its 2017 climate action plan, which had a target of an 80% reduction in community GHG emissions by 2050. The plan had been passed unanimously by Council, and resulted in several major initiatives, such as the creation of 36 new positions to support plan implementation, investment into district energy and residential and commercial retrofit programs, and the purchase of electric buses. By 2020, Toronto’s transit system, TTC, had the largest electric bus fleet in North America.
SSG developed decarbonization pathways for Toronto and explored two potential targets: net zero by 2040 and net zero by 2050.
Our modelling found that not only is pursuing net zero by 2040 technically feasible, it cost less, resulted in fewer emissions overall, and provided health and well-being benefits to residents sooner than pursuing net zero by 2050. Despite the great level of effort required to get to net zero by 2040, our analysis showed that current technologies, such as electric vehicles, high-performing building materials, solar panels, and battery storage systems, are enough to reach that goal.
The plan was passed by Council in December 2021, making Toronto the first North American city with such an ambitious target.
Links to reports:
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SSG’s work is carried out on unceded and unsurrendered Indigenous territories, ranging from the traditional lands of the Michif Piyii in the North to the Huilliche in the South; from Hul'qumi'num Peoples in the West to the Mi'kma’qi in the East.
SSG recognizes that land acknowledgements alone are insufficient. We are committed to educating ourselves about the lands we are on and ensuring that our work contributes to healing and decolonization.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives 4.0 International License
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